1. Animal Husbandry

Show Care for Your Animals during Holi

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

Holi, the festival of colours that signify joy may cause serious health problems and trouble for our pets cautioned Dr Kirti Dua, Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana. Generally it is considered that the use of dry colours are harmless for the dogs but many a times manufacturers mix harmful chemicals in these colours. Most of the colours available in the market are actually a combination of various toxic chemicals, like zinc, lead and mercury. 

Dr Dua strongly recommends that these colours shouldn’t be smeared on your pets as chemicals present in the colours may act as accumulative poison and can cause skin and eye allergies, respiratory distress and many sorts of toxicities. Many a times, dogs tend to lick their body, and the taste of dry colours makes them prone to throwing up. Puppies, senior dogs and short hair coat dogs are more predisposed to falling victim to these colours. 

He advises pet parents to keep their dog safe from all these problems. They should make all efforts to keep the pet away from children who tend to throw water balloons at the pet. Throwing water filled balloons on the dogs can also cause eye injuries. In case of balloon hit, wash the eyes of the pet with clean water and observe the dog for any sort of irritation. Pet parents should keep water balloons, other Holi paraphernalia out of the reach of dogs as they may end up chewing and swallowing them. 

Dr Dua recommends that after Holi, do not use detergent, kerosene, spirit, nail polish remover, alcohol or acetone to try and remove the colours. These are strong irritants and tend to break down the protective skin barrier. Use normal bathing soap and moisturize the skin. In case of accidental ingestion signs like: excessive salivation, vomiting, loose motions, behavioral changes like aggression or stupor may be observed in the pets. In that case consult the nearest veterinarian. He suggested that don’t take them out along with you to play Holi as he is much safer at home. 

There are two aspects of Holi: Colors and Sweets. Both of them can cause potential harm to your pet. We must take into account that sweets does not go down very well with the canines and may give them loose stomach. If you are taking the dog for walk on the next morning, then it is recommended that you put a muzzle on your dog to avoid accidental licking of colour spread over roads. Final punch line from Dr Dua is “Don’t limit yourselves to your pet animals. Be considerate about the strays which live around you too” 



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